Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Clash of the Gothic Icons!

Dracula VS Frankenstein 1970 US
Directed by Al Adamson
Cheezy Flicks DVD Region 1

Finally got to see this, um, masterpiece of mayhem yesterday. All I can say is “Wow!” If you like movies so bad that they actually make you laugh out loud and talk back to the screen... then you should definitely put this one on your play list.

The film concerns a Count Dracula who looks like he’s just stepped out of the ranks of the "Village People." He digs up the body of the original Frankenstein monster and brings it to the last surviving family member of the Frankensteins (played here by Universal veteran J. Carrol Naish) who runs a boardwalk ghost house come sideshow freak exhibition and does bizarre experiments on naked young girls in an attempt to find a serum for... something or other... sometimes you have to let art wash over you people.

He is aided by his not-actually-a hunchback-transforms-into-a-maniac-sometimes-and-decapitates-people friend played by Lon Chaney Jr and his puppy. Neither Lon Chaney Jr nor the puppy have any actual lines but that doesn’t matter... Lon Chaney Jr mimes his responses in a performance that, although I have a lot of respect for the man, induced spasms of gleeful laughter from this viewer (ok then, I smiled a lot).

This film has everything you need in a really bad film.

Really, really dire acting from most of the actors? Check.

Really horrendously wordy but totally nonsensical script which the actors seem to get wrong as they try to say those tongue twisting lines anyway. Check.

A REALLY badly written and badly performed song and dance number by the female protagonist and her two male dancers which had me grinning like a Cheshire cat at the sheer stupidity of the lyrics. Oh yes.

A groovy band singing in the hippy hangout. Have to have them.

Russ Tamblyn as the leader of a, very small, biker gang! Check.

A surly midget ticket seller who does magic tricks (“I eat your tickets!”) and dies by falling onto his own axe and splitting his head open. Tick that box.

An unbelievably over the top score (my limited CD is already on order as I type) which is mysteriously and mostly replaced during the last 20 minutes or so by tracked in cues from Creature From The Black Lagoon (which is cool, I like that score). That’s another check.

A really well designed Dracula ring that shoots bad special effects lightning to disintegrate people. Ok, so not all bad movies have to have that one but it helps.

And a completely pointless wrestle between Dracula and the Frankenstein monster at the end of the flick which results in both of them dying! Bingo.

The Cheezy Flicks DVD boasts an okay transfer, non anamorphic of the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. It’s been a while since I had that much fun with a DVD!

Miss this one at your peril!


  1. Enjoyed this one a few years ago on a late night Video taping session, the poor picture quality added to the already funny/tacky look of the movie. A real treat for me.....


  2. And Forrest J Ackerman getting crushed by the Monster.

    1. Ha! Really? I hadn't noticed. This is one of my old, shorter reviews. Thanks for reading.